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What You Need to Know About Massage Therapist

Massage Therapist Job Description Perform therapeutic massages of soft tissues and joints. May assist in the assessment of range of motion and muscle strength, or propose client therapy plans.

Life As a Massage Therapist: What Do They Do?

  • Develop and propose client treatment plans that specify which types of massage are to be used.
  • Confer with clients about their medical histories and problems with stress or pain to determine how massage will be most helpful.
  • Assess clients' soft tissue condition, joint quality and function, muscle strength, and range of motion.
  • Maintain treatment records.
  • Apply finger and hand pressure to specific points of the body.
  • Perform other adjunctive therapies or treatment techniques in addition to massage.

Qualities of a Massage Therapist

These are the skills Massage Therapists say are the most useful in their careers:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Licensed Massage Practitioner (LMP)
  • Certified Massage Therapist (CMT)
  • Massage Operator
  • Bodywork Therapist
  • Licensed Massage Therapist

Job Opportunities for Massage Therapists

There were about 160,300 jobs for Massage Therapist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 26.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 42,100 new jobs for Massage Therapist by 2026. The BLS estimates 22,600 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Massage Therapist are Washington, Utah, and Tennessee. Watch out if you plan on working in Maryland, Vermont, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Massage Therapist

The average yearly salary of a Massage Therapist ranges between $21,340 and $78,280.


Massage Therapists who work in Alaska, Washington, or Oregon, make the highest salaries.

How much do Massage Therapists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $34,890
Alaska $82,280
Arizona $42,340
Arkansas $41,890
California $41,460
Colorado $46,190
Connecticut $43,170
District of Columbia $40,890
Florida $46,240
Georgia $37,210
Hawaii $61,750
Idaho $50,560
Illinois $46,340
Indiana $48,650
Iowa $40,030
Kansas $29,370
Kentucky $52,960
Louisiana $30,060
Maine $43,450
Maryland $42,430
Massachusetts $53,750
Michigan $42,710
Minnesota $52,910
Mississippi $29,080
Missouri $37,100
Montana $46,500
Nebraska $45,340
Nevada $29,620
New Hampshire $47,360
New Jersey $44,610
New Mexico $42,260
New York $52,830
North Carolina $41,560
North Dakota $39,640
Ohio $39,370
Oklahoma $41,770
Oregon $64,360
Pennsylvania $42,730
Rhode Island $40,970
South Carolina $41,440
South Dakota $34,350
Tennessee $44,190
Texas $49,100
Utah $40,880
Vermont $44,580
Virginia $38,990
Washington $62,520
West Virginia $34,750
Wisconsin $42,440
Wyoming $43,060

Tools & Technologies Used by Massage Therapists

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Massage Therapists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Scheduling software

How to Become a Massage Therapist

Education needed to be a Massage Therapist:


How Long Does it Take to Become a Massage Therapist?


Where Massage Therapists Are Employed


The table below shows the approximate number of Massage Therapists employed by various industries.


You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Massage Therapist might also be interested in the following careers:


Image Credit: Senior Airman Melanie Bulow-Kelly via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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